For those living in the bi-state area, it can sometimes be difficult to find “practical” training opportunities as a civilian. This includes training beyond the dry, antiseptic environment of an indoor shooting range (sometimes with its extensive, insurance-mandated rules). And with the current state of America; two decades of wars/riots/disasters/etc., who your instructor is can be just as critical as where you receive the training. In early November, I had the opportunity to sit down and observe the folks from Green Hat Tactical as they conducted their Carbine 1 course at Top Gun Sportsman’s Club. The following were my observations of the course, and impressions from discussions with cadre:
Courses with Green Hat range between 8 and 10 students each, with 2-3 instructors per course. This gives the average class a student-to-instructor ratio of approximately 4:1. This is better than other training venues that often utilize a single instructor for a class of the approximate same size. Green Hat instructors (one lead and two assistant) in the Carbine 1 class were able to give more hands-on instruction or correction throughout the day, as the coursework became increasingly complex.
Coursework for Carbine 1 centered around a crawl-walk-run structure, with classroom introduction and basic weapon familiarity/safety emphasized at the beginning. As the day progressed, gradually more complex iterations and drills were introduced, with each building upon the last until ultimately students were conducting moving drills and engaging multiple targets, with/without barricades, at varying distance and orientation. This more accurately reflected real-world environments than static indoor settings.
Instructors (Paul, Mike, and Ryan) presented themselves as competent and friendly, frequently providing hands-on correction for students or answering questions as presented, while ensuring safety and maintaining the 180-plane during live fire. Students ran the gambit of initial introduction to the AR platform, to more seasoned – but the drills were appropriate for all levels.
For those interested in exploring the coursework or reservations for Green Hat Tactical, you can find their website at:
ST. LOUIS, MO